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Auto blogTue, 05 Mar 2013 14:01:00 EST
The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf just went on sale in Europe, but it is already off to a promising start. Announced as the Geneva Motor Show kicked off, the newest Golf was named European Car of the Year for 2013 in dominating style over cars like the Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86 twins, Volvo V40, Ford B-Max and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
According to Automotive News Europe, the MkVII Golf won handily over its rivals with a total of 414 votes. The Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 received 202 votes finishing in a distant second, while the Volvo V40 (189 votes), Ford B-Max (148 votes) and Mercedes-Benz A-Class (138 votes) round out the top five. The new Golf marks the third Volkswagen product to receive the prestigious award with previous cars including the MkIII Golf and the most recent iteration of the Polo.
From our perspective, the reborn Volkswagen Scirocco is a handsome (if squat) little thing. Yet design-wise, it's always struck us as uncomfortably close to the Golf three-door hatchback with which it shares its basic underpinnings. That aesthetic kinship may be part of the reason why Volkswagen has steadfastly refused to import the Scirocco to North America, seeing as how the Golf doesn't regularly set the company's sales charts alight, and it's less expensive.
But that visual similarity might be about to change, says Walter De Silva, who recently told Australia's Car Advice that, "It must be completely different... we don't want to repeat the bodystyle of the Scirocco, we want to change that." Further, the Volkswagen Group's design boss says that the next-generation car isn't terribly far along in development yet - "at the moment, it's only a studio [project]... it's not defined." It's probably just as well, as the new seventh-generation Golf arguably borrows some of its design from the current Scirocco anyway.
So we should expect a much bolder, more differentiated design, right? Well, yes, no and maybe. Back in September, De Silva himself was quoted as saying that the era of flamboyant styling has passed, and that future VW designs will be simpler to better reflect the times and preserve resale value. So... how different could it be?
We've received multiple reports that Volkswagen will be bringing a diesel-electric concept to the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, set to take place later this month. The car, called the Twin-Up!, is based on the Up! city car, with some sources claiming this is a thinly veiled concept that will eventually enter production.
According to Automotive News Europe, the Twin-Up! will reportedly return 214 miles per gallon on the US cycle by combining an 800-cc, two-cylinder diesel and an electric motor. It will also boast plug-in capabilities, and will be able to cover 30 miles on electric power alone.
Autocar has a more complete picture of the Twin-Up!'s powertrain, though, claiming it's a modified version of the hybrid system found in the Volkswagen XL1. The Twin-Up! will get a more potent, 47-horsepower electric motor to the XL1's 27-hp unit, but will retain that car's 47-hp turbodiesel. The battery pack will also grow, from 5.5 kilowatt hours to 8.6 kWh. Both of these increases are necessary due to the increased weight of the Twin-Up! - it's some 900 pounds heavier than an XL1.